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Abdominal obesity, also known as central obesity and truncal obesity, is a condition when excessive abdominal fat around the stomach and abdomen has built up to the extent that it is likely to have a negative impact on health. Central obesity has been strongly linked to cardiovascular disease,Alzheimer's disease, and other metabolic and vascular diseases.

Visceral and central abdominal fat and waist circumference show a strong association with type 2 diabetes.[3]

Visceral fat, also known as organ fat or intra-abdominal fat, is located inside the peritoneal cavity, packed in between internal organs and torso, as opposed to subcutaneous fat, which is found underneath the skin, and intramuscular fat, which is found interspersed in skeletal muscle. Visceral fat is composed of several adipose depots including mesenteric, epididymal white adipose tissue (EWAT) and perirenal fat. An excess of adipose visceral fat is known as central obesity, the "pot belly" or "beer belly" effect, in which the abdomen protrudes excessively. This body type is also known as "apple shaped", as opposed to "pear shaped" in which fat is deposited on the hips and buttocks.

Researchers first started to focus on abdominal obesity in the 1980s when they realized it had an important connection to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Abdominal obesity was more closely related with metabolic dysfunctions connected with cardiovascular disease than was general obesity. In the late 1980s and early 1990s insightful and powerful imaging techniques were discovered that would further help advance the understanding of the health risks associated with body fat accumulation. Techniques such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging made it possible to categorize mass of adipose tissue located at the abdominal level into intra-abdominal fat and subcutaneous fat.

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